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In this column, Mr. Romberg describes a political yard sign in front of a private residence as “proof that the candidate has earned the support…” He then describes a political yard sign placed on public land as “littering our public landscape.”
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Surely, we can all agree that these signs are political speech. As such, this form of free speech must be available to all people. By advocating to limit yard signs only to the owners of private property, Mr. Romberg seeks to deny people who are not as affluent as himself this form of political speech.
In the political arena, people with the wealth of Mr. Romberg have many forms of political speech available to them. They can make direct money contributions to candidates and to political action committees. They can pay people to mail candidate endorsements. They can pay to put political ads on billboards. They can pay radio stations to carry advertisements for their favorite candidates and causes.
A person who is struggling to pay the rent, feed their family and afford gasoline to drive to a job does not have the luxury of political speech enjoyed by the affluent. However, there are a few forms of political speech still available to them. One form is picking up political yard signs from their favorite candidates. They can then exercise their right to free speech by placing those signs in the public arena on public land.
Does it get messy sometimes? Of course it does. Political speech is always messy. Instead of viewing free speech along public thoroughfares as the litter of the poor, Mr. Romberg can learn to view this form of political speech as part of the beauty of living in the United States of America.
If this form of free speech still bothers Mr. Romberg, perhaps he can organize volunteers to remove the signs after the election is over.
Bill Phillips, Evergreen
In response to May 19 column “Looking for blue sky”
Isn’t changing the name of “Mount Evans” to “Mount Blue Sky” just another example of “virtue signaling?” The truth is, the United States is still held by force. Ask a Native American, “ Would you like your ancestral lands returned as they were?” and let us guess at the answer. Each and every one of us, if our heritage is not First Nation Indigenous, benefits from every Indian fighter who came before, and that includes Andrew Jackson, John Chivington, John Evans, Philip Sheridan and George Custer.
The cheap paternalism of re-naming a mountain from a heartless Indian killer to nebulous spiritual feel-good name, all the while building golf courses and condo projects and ski resorts and bike trails and sports stadiums on once indigenous homeland, is hypocrisy at its finest. The author says he is a passionate skier and biker. He couldn’t do those sports if Native Americans hadn’t been driven by force off their ancestral lands. He and anyone else not of indigenous heritage are completely complicit in subjugating Native Americans, and in spirit were right there loading guns and firing cannons when Indians were killed 150 years ago.
Let’s not pat ourselves on the back too much for these sorts of revisionist efforts. Renaming a mountain isn’t too far from trading $24 of beads and trinkets for acres of land, is it, as long as we hold title by force to lands that were once the First Nation home.
Gary Rotolo, Evergreen
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